Eras, and specifically the end of them, are declared too often in football. Those of us old enough to remember the 1980s will recall complaints about the lack of characters in the game "these days", as if Mario Balotelli would never exist. But there is certainly something fin-de-siecle about a week which has seen the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, Paul Scholes and David Beckham.
This should be a good time to be Borussia Dortmund. It's just over a fortnight before their second-ever Champions League final, and football fans across Europe light up at the mention of the club's name. But the mood music around every neutralÃ¢ÂÂs favourite club has a discordant undertone.